Two top bands visit Brighton for two full on electrifying sets – these guys are good, real good! The Chords UK and guests Department S . A superb night!
The Chords UK
Now dear reader it can get a bit confusing… The Chords UK are made up from The Chords. They were a 1970s British pop music group, commonly associated with the 1970s mod revival, who had several hits in their homeland, before the decline of the trend brought about their break-up. They were one of the more successful groups to emerge during the revival, and they re-formed with the four original members for a UK tour during 2010.
“Chris Pope is the best songwriter of his generation” – Paul Weller
The Chords UK are helmed by founding member and songwriter, Chris Pope, along with Mic Stoner, Kenny Cooper and Sandy Michie. Since 2013 The Chords UK have continued the legacy of Mod Revival heroes The Chords by performing all of the band’s hits along with performing material from the two new albums by The Chords UK, “Take On Life” and the recently released “Nowhere Land”.
The Chords UK: The Band
Chris Pope – guitars and vocals
Sandy Michie – guitars and vocals
Mic Stoner – bass and vocals
Ken Cooper – drums and vocals
This was most refreshing as I thought we would get a safe run through of all thos great Chord classics tonight. I have to admit it was a most impressive set mixing in the older material, but I was knocked sideways with the new stuff.
Opening tonight, from that rather tasty slice of that new tasty CD/Vinyl album, Nowhere Land. Crikey, that was really rather good! Ok, hopefully you get the idea. These guys were loud and spiky with it, a top notch sound and a full on mix of material for the fairly busy Patterns club in Brighton.
Something’s Missing, I Can’t Let Go, In My Street Man On The Northern Line Now It’s Gone One More Minute and again from that new album the superb Hipsters Of London.These guys have worked hard to generate that authentic sound and yet they have made it feel fresh and invigorating. It was hard to stop that foot from tapping as these guys played through their set.
The awesome range of tempos and those renowned clever lyrics were fabulous. There were quite a few mod bands out there back in the day but for me from that stable The Chords and The Jam stood above many others. These guts worked hard, they sing from their gut, in other words the songs are delivered both with British Mod grit and passion. Many bands seem to lack that these days.
Two bang up to date melters to begin the ending These Bad Times into Breaks My Heart and then two 80’s classics to finish Tumbling Down and straight into Maybe Tomorrow.
Job done – well played The Chords UK – enjoyed that!
The Chords UK are on the WWW HERE!
Department S are a British post-punk/new wave band formed in 1980, who took their name from the 1960s TV series Department S.They are best known for their debut single, “Is Vic There?”, now touring with The Chords UK bringing with them new material and of course some of those older songs. Department S unpacked their cases, plugged in, and gave us a great show in Brighton.
Now those who have stumbled across this site in the past will know that Department S are one of our Go To bands. The weather in Brighton on this night was again truly dreadful and the delightful Brighton Breeze was whipping up quite nicely along the seafront. Now the weather can impact on “walk – ins” passers by. Thankfully many, like me, wanted to see these guys again and now sporting a new line up as Pete Jones (bass) and Alan Galaxy (drums) had departed a few months earlier.
Eddie Roxy – vocals and watching the crowd.
Phil Thompson – guitars, vocals and leaps
Mike Lea – bass guitar
Simon Bowley (ex-Eddie and the Hot Rods) drums
A shorter set was on the cards tonight. Never mind, I was so keen to hear the new line up. The sound of Department S seemed to have been upped a bit, making them punchier than I recall. First off dear reader there is a Department S photo competition for me to get Phil, full body in a frame in mid air, and at last here it is! Gotcha Phil.
The set begins as usual with the intro to the Department S Theme. Powerful drums kick in then on come guitar and bass and fire up with Fast Lane as Eddie walks to the stage, standing quite motionless and then bam, we were off! A bit of a switch around on the set introduced me to that first song and some others that I had not heard before. Although still to hear My Coo Ca Choo live! They also cover Solid Gold Easy Action (T REX). On My Own Again from the super album When All Is Said And All Is Done. I Want from a few years back was up next, oddly this was a big hit in Europe but it didn’t register as such in the UK.
The band quickly settled, with the latest line up additions, into giving us a great performance. The set motored along at a breakneck pace with Kings Of The World, Angel Of London, Going Left Right, Wonderful Day, Monte Carlo Or Bust, I Believe and Saul. Two brand new songs in there with the promise of a new album and those songs going on that. Can’t wait guys!
They are best known for their debut single, Is Vic There?, which was originally released in December 1980 and reached No. 22 on the UK Singles Chart the following year. I never get bored hearing this track live, and the new line up did a damn fine job in bringing this back to life for the crowd tonight. Superb.
To close we had the always enjoyable romp When All Is Said And All Is Done and Phil and Mark charge around the stage, and dropping in some jumps as if there were a few hundred volts passing beneath their feet as Eddie quietly leaves the stage.
A top notch class performance from Department S. And so I can happily say they are still a must see band for me.
Department S are on the WWW HERE!
All in all then dear reader, as we all trooped out into the lashing wind and rain, we all agreed that both bands gave it their all tonight and gave us a damn fine evening.Ah, sod the weather, would we do it again? YES!
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